Monday, March 7, 2016
The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
“She is myth. She is history. She is gone.”
Slate is a Navigator who time travels aboard the Temptation. Originally from modern day New York, he is on a quest to return to Honolulu, 1868. His sixteen-year-old daughter, Nix, travels with him but he has yet to teach her how to Navigate. He is depressed over his continued failure to return to Lin, Nix’s mother, and save her life. He originally navigated to Hawaii on an old map by Augustus Mitchell, 1866. There, Slate met Lin at an opium den where she worked. Lin was able to break Slate’s addiction to the drug but since her death, he has relapsed. Lin died from an infection that would be easily cured with modern day antibiotics on the day Nix was born. Slate had Navigated to a map of Hong Kong, 1850 in order to earn the money to marry Lin. He had no idea that she was pregnant. Slate traveled back to Honolulu on a map he had for 1869. Upon arrival, Slate found Nix instead and learned that Lin had died. Now, he is on a mission to locate a map of Honolulu, 1868 in order to go back and save Lin. If he is successful, no one knows if Nix will continue to exist. The only thing that is known for sure is that every time they Navigate, the past is changed.
Nix has dreams of her own. Having never really belonged to a particular time or place, she has stolen a map from Slate and hidden it. She is preparing to set off on her own once she learns how to Navigate. Her destination? A map of Carthage during Roman rule in 165 A.D. She knows that if she strikes out on her own that she will never see her father’s crew, including Kashmir, again. Nix is tired of Slate’s moods and constantly worrying about her future. Slate’s current plan is to Navigate the Temptation to New York 2016 and purchase a map of Hawaii, dated 1868 from Christie’s auction. With money in hand from the sale of a gold pocket watch that Kashmir lifted during their last map Navigation, Slate is successful in his bid to purchase the map. The map is delivered later that day to the Temptation. In his cabin, Slate shows it to Nix and her worries are compounded after looking at it. It looks authentic. Nix’s heart is touched when her father says that he cannot wait for her to finally meet her mother. In the moment, Slate tells her that Navigating isn’t just about the maps but also believing that it will work. Slate knows that it is also fate that Lin will be there waiting on him. Nix now knows that her father is delusional.
The Temptation sets out the following morning. Slate is Navigating and Nix soon realizes that the map is actually working. Once the ship arrives at the new map, Nix is surprised to find that she is still around. Slate is ecstatic until he looks at the landscape about a half mile at shore and his disappointment is evident. He shakes off Nix’s attempts to talk to him and leaves. Nix scans the landscape herself and notices that the flags are flying at half staff at Iolani Palace. The Palace wasn’t been built in 1868. Thinking back, Nix didn’t immediately realize that the palace shouldn’t have been on the map. She was too focused on the date. Kashmir, a member of her father’s crew, asks her if the map or the captain is the one broken. Nix isn’t sure but she hopes that the mapmaker, A. Sutfin, might be able to answer that question.
Will Slate be able to Navigate back to Honolulu 1868 and save the love of his life? Would Nix cease to exist if he is able? How does Navigation work? Does anyone suspect Nix’s plans of heading out on her own? Why didn’t A. Sutfin’s map work? Can Nix locate Sutfin? What happens when Nix goes to Honolulu learns more about her mother? Who will she meet?